The Jurisdiction of the THAMES. 35

The Jurisdiction of the THAMES.

King's most gracious and liberal Charter in that Point granted, in the Third Year of his Majesty's most happy Reign.

Then the Common Serjeant went over his Arguments.

And First, for Proof of Right.

I. By Prescription.


It appeareth by an ancient Book, called Dunthorne, That Civitatis Fundationis, ædificationis, & Constructionis, Causa erat Thamesis Fluvius. Quorum vero, Civitatis & Fluminis, Gubernationem, tam Duces, Maiores, Custodes, Vicecomites, Aldermanni & Magnates Civitatis memoratæ hucusque obtinuerunt & habuerunt: i.e. The River Thames was the Cause of the first Founding, Erecting and Building of the City. The Government of which, both City and River, as well the Chiefs, the Maiors, the Keepers, the Sheriffs, the Aldermen and Eminent Men of the said City, hitherto have obtained and held. So as the Government of the River hath belonged to the City Time out of Mind.

Ex Lib. vocat. Dunthorn.

The River belonged to London Time out of Mind.

In the 21 H. III. Jordan Coventrie, one of the Sheriffs of London, was by the Maior and Aldermen sent to remove certain Kiddels, that annoyed the Rivers of Thames and Medway; Who ultra Yenland versus Mare, did take divers Persons that were Offenders, and imprisoned them. Whereupon Complaint being made to K. Henry III. he took the Matter ill at the first, and sent for the Lord Maior and Citizens to Kennington. And upon hearing of the Matter before the said K. Henry, the City's Jurisdiction on the River was set forth and allowed, and the Complainants convicted, and every of them amerced at Ten Pounds, and the Amercement adjudged to the City; and their Nets were afterward burned, by Judgment given by the Lord Maior and Aldermen in the Hustings.

The Sheriff goes beyond Yenland, to remove Kidels that annoyed the River.

In the 37 of H. III. Eodem Anno arte Pentecostem, Vicecomites London, quia Aqua Thamesiæ pertinet ad London, per præceptum dict. Dom. Regis, deriverunt omnes alios Gurgites à London usq; Mare.

In the 1 Rich. II. Writs to the Sheriffs of Kent and Essex, reciting the City's Title: with Command, not to suffer the Citizens of London to be molested, contrary to the Liberties formerly granted and allowed unto them.

II. By Allowance in Eire.


In the 41 Hen. III. Before Hugh Bigot, being Justice Itinerant, the Sheriffs and Citizens of London were called in question, for their Jurisdiction exercised on the Thames. Before whom, it was found by a Jury in Southwark, quod nullus aliquid Juris habet in Thamesia, usque ad novum Gurgitem, nisi Cives London. i.e. That none had any Right and Title in the Thames, as far as to the new Whirlpool, but the Citizens of London.

The City's Jurisdiction of the River called in Question.

The new Whirlpool.

In the 14 Edw. II. Lib. Antiq. Regum, 156. The Constable of the Tower was indicted by divers Wards of London, before the Justice in Eire at the Tower: De Munerib. & Recep. conc. pro Kidellis in Thamisiis: Concerning Kiddels set in the Thames, which, it seems, the said Constable had received Consideration for. Et Constabularius ad Kidellos respondet, quod Justic. non habent Jurisdictionem extra London, placitum; inde cognoscere, cum prædicti Kidelli sunt in aliis Comitatibus. Et Justic. dixerunt, Aqua Thamesiæ pertinet ad Civitatem London, usq; Mare: Et si velit, respondeat. The Sum of which Words seem to be this: That the Constable answered as to the Kidels, that the Justices had not Jurisdiction out of London; and that the foresaid Kidels were in other Counties. But that the Justices said, That the Water of the Thames, as far as the Sea, belonged to the City of London: And if he pleased, he might bring in his Answer. Who then pleaded, not Guilty.

The Constable of the Tower indicted by the Wards of London.

Lib. Antiq. Reg.

III. By Charters.


In the 8 Rich I. Dominus Richardus Rex, Filius Henrici II. concessit, & firmiter præcepit, ut omnes Kidelli qui sunt in Thamesia, amoveantur, ubicunq; fuerint in Thamesia. That is, Our Lord Richard the King, Son of Henry II. hath granted and firmly commanded, That all the Kidels that are in the Thames be taken away, wheresoever in the Thames they be.

K. Richard I. his Charter.

In the 1 Johan. Rex concessit, & firmiter præcepit, ut omnes Kidelli, qui sunt in Thamesia, vel in Medway, amoveantur; & ne cæteri Kidelli alicubi ponantur in Thamesia, vel in Meday, super Forf. x Libr. Sterlingorum. That is, The King hath granted, and firmly commanded, That all the Kidels that are in the Thames, or the Medway, be taken away; and that no other Kidels be placed in the Thames or the Medway, upon Pain of Forfeiture of Ten Pounds Sterling.

K. John's Charter.

Henry III. Son to King John, granted his Charter to the City in Form following: Henry by the Grace of God Kynge of England, Lord of Irland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitanye, and Erle of Angeoy; Unto Archbishops, Bishops, Abbattes, Pryours, Erlys, Barons, Justicis, Sherifs, Stywardis, Mynysters, and to al Baylyfs, and to al his trewe Men, gretynge: Wetyth wel, That for the Wele of our Soule, and the Helthe of the Soule of Kynge Johan oure Fader, and the Soules of oure Antecessours; And also for the common Profyt of our Cite of London, and of al oure Realme; We have graunted and stedfastly commaunded, that al the Weris that ben in Thamys or in Medwey by Medwey, where that ever they be in Thamys or in Medwey, be done awaye. And that from hens forwarde no Weres be sett in Thamys nor in Medwey, upon Forfeitour of x Lib.

K. Henry III. his Charter, as it is recorded in the Customs of London.

Also we clayme quyte to oure Citezens of London al that the Constables of our Tour of London was wont to take of the same Weres. Wherefore we wyll and stedfastly commaund, That no Constable of the Tour ony Tyme from hens forward ony Thing axe, or ony Graunte * do to ony of the same Cite, by Encheson of the same Weres. It is knowne inowe to us, and [by] our trewe Men do us to understonde, that most Prayenge and leste Profyt myght falle to the same Cite, and to al the Realme, by Enchesen of the same Weres. Which we make for ever firme and stable to the same Cite, as the Chartour of our Lord Kyng Johan our Fader, with our Barons of London thereof have reasonably wytnessith. Wytnes Eustas of London, Peter of Wynchester, Joklyn of Bath, Rychard of Salysbury, Bishops: Hubert of Brough, Erle of Kent, our Justice; Gylbart of Clare, Erle of Gloucester and Hertford, Fizt. Nicol, Rychard of Argeutin, our Styward. Gyve by the Hande of our Worshypful Fader, Rauf Bishop of Chychester, our Chauncelar, at Westm. the xviij Day of Feverell, the Yere of our Regne xi.

* Grievance.

This is an Extract out of the Charter of London, granted to the City by K. Richard II. the Sixth and Seventh Articles.


In the LXVIII Article also are these Words. "And that the same Citezens remeve and do away al the Weres in Thamys and Medway: And that they have the Punishmentis therof, longing to us."

Authority to remove Wears, and to punish, by Rich. II.'s Charter.